Stage 2 EAL – Responses to Texts
A free choice response
The impact of social media on the quality of relationships in society
Since the dawn of civilisation, communication has played a crucial part in society and interpersonal relationship. With the emergence of the Internet, a new form of communication tool known as social media started to gain popularity. Unlike any pre-existing methods of communication, social media are forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. For only one decade, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have attracted billions of users. However, with the rise of social media, it has raised concerns regarding its effects on the quality of relationships within society. It is suggested that although social media allows people who are separated by distance to stay in touch, its problematic environment can cause a damaging impact on relationships. Furthermore, the lack of non-verbal communication of social media can lead to animosity among people.

Social media increase the quality of relationships by bringing people who are away from each other together. Study shows distance could impact negatively on relationships in society, as constant interactions are critical in forming healthy bonds. Luckily, due to the rapid development of information technology, social media is able to provide instantaneous communication unrestricted by distance, creating possibilities for the maintenance of long-distance relationships. The example shows (see appendix 1)that by asking the state of illness through texting, the wellbeing of the patient is instantly accessed by the friend. Additionally, further exchange of contemporary status allows a deeper connection between the two people. Online communication strengthens their friendship and closeness. Moreover, social media helps to maintain intimacy and satisfaction in long-distance romantic relationships. The example demonstrates (see appendix 2) by displaying and reciprocating affection through texting, the couple expresses intimacy for one another, strengthening their relationship. Furthermore, social media allows them to express commitment, which is essential for long-term relationships. Therefore, social media helps relationships to be maintained and nurtured from a physical distance.

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Social media decreases the quality of relationships in society as it can lead to jealousy and hostility. A study shows that the mechanisms of social media encourage people to exaggerate and idolise about their statuses and posts. This phenomenon can be extremely damaging to interpersonal relationships, as being constantly exposed to the highlights of your friends’ lives on a daily basis, 41% of people admit feeling dissatisfied and jealous. One victim of this phenomenon is Kalel Kitten, who despite having more than two million followers on YouTube, deleted her channel due to anxiety and jealousy created by social media. She expressed that instead of appreciating the relationships with her friends, social media sparked jealousy and insecurity by leaving her longing for things that her friends have and she doesn’t. The convenience of social media not only bring connection to Kitten and her friends, it also makes them more aware of other people’s status, leading to comparative actions as well as resentment. Therefore, the comparative nature of social media can sabotage relationships by evoking negative emotions such as envy and bitterness.

Social media damages relationships as it diminishes non-verbal interaction. Research shows that verbal words only consist 7% of communication, people majorly communicate through non-verbal cues such as eye contact, tone of voice, and body language. Face-to-face interaction is essential in forming high-quality relationships. However, with texting being the only major form of communication on social media like Facebook and Twitter, messages become more ambiguous and harder to be understood. The example illustrates that (see appendix 3) as texting is incapable of conveying the person’s tone of voice, his joke is misinterpreted by his girlfriend as an expression of unwillingness and uncertainty. The absence of non-verbal communication results in conflict and doubt in the couple’s relationship. Therefore, it is indicated that the lack of face-to-face communication in social media causes a decrease in the quality of relationships in society, further causing animosity in relationships.

The rise of social media has revolutionised the way people communicate and interact with each other. Due to its complex nature, the exact impact of social media on the quality of interpersonal relationships is still under debate. However, it is acknowledged by the scholars that despite social media’s usefulness in maintaining relationships for people who are apart, it is generally considered as a disruption for interpersonal relationships, as social media evokes jealousy and diminishes non-verbal communication.

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Appendix
Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3
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